The most common reason to replace a silver filling is that the tooth develops another cavity or if the tooth has chipped or cracked. Usually, a cavity will show up on a visual exam or on an x-ray and can be fixed quickly before the damage spreads. In cases of chips and cracks, these may show up before as small crack lines in a tooth and whether the tooth needs to be repaired is determined on a case by case basis.
Why Replace a Silver Filling?
Another common reason to replace silver fillings is due to the look of the silver filling. While this is a fine reason, Dr. Schafer encourages each of his patients to decide if the silver filling is easy to see or if only the dentist, you, and your significant other can see it. Often silver fillings are placed on the back teeth or molars where it is difficult to see in a conversation. If the silver filling does show in your smile, it is a great reason to have it replaced with a white filling. However, replacing silver fillings with white fillings can cause prolonged sensitivity or the possible need for a further treatment if the tooth's nerve is damaged. Whenever a tooth has surgical treatment done to it like a filling, the tooth is damaged and may take some time to heal up properly.
The third common reason is fear of the toxicity of silver fillings. The media such as Dr. Oz have made much money fear mongering and convincing many people to have all their sturdy silver fillings replaced out of fear of any number of illness. Dr. Schafer does not believe that there is any substantiated link between amalgam fillings and health problems. While Dr. Schafer will remove and replace silver fillings for cosmetic purposes, he highly discourages replacing them due to fear. Replacing white fillings in a person's mouth not only costs money the first time it is done but as most white fillings do not last as long as silver fillings, they are more expensive to maintain as they need to be replaced more often.
If you are concerned about your silver fillings, please call us today and Dr. Schafer and his team will be happy to discuss your options.